Be faithful even during trials

Jeremiah 29:11, 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Young Joseph was the most loved among the children by Jacob. Due to this reason, his other ten brothers harbored hatred in their heart against him. When Joseph came to the place where they led their flock for pasture to enquire about their welfare, they threw him into an empty well. When they saw Egyptian merchants going that way they sold him for 20 silver coins. Joseph being sold as slave reached the house of Potiphar in Egypt. Potiphar’s wife was attracted to the youth and vigor of Joseph and tried to seduce him. But Joseph refused to accept her advances. So she had him put in prison on the false grounds that he had tried to molest her.

Two servants of the Pharaoh were also in prison. One night the two servants had a dream. The dream seen by the chief baker was not pleasant, whereas the dream seen by the chief cupbearer was good. Joseph was able to explain their dreams well. When he had told them the meaning of their dreams he said to the cup bearer, Genesis 40:14, 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.

For two long years Joseph spent his day and night in the prison not knowing what would become of him and his future. The Pharaoh saw a dream which meant that the land was to face a huge famine in the coming years. Genesis 40:8, In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him. At that moment the cupbearer remembered Joseph and how he had correctly interpreted his dream. He told the Pharaoh about Joseph and how he had interpreted the dream. Joseph was brought out of the prison. It was not the Lord’s plan to let Joseph die in the prison. Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream with the Lord’s blessing.

Genesis 40: 25-32, 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.

28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.

The Pharaoh was pleased with Joseph’s interpretation and made him the in charge of all the land of Egypt. The land was ravished by the famine. The grains that was stocked in the storehouses in Egypt began to be sold. Jacob, Joseph’s father too heard about this. He then sent Joseph’s elder brothers to buy grain from the storehouses in Egypt. Joseph immediately recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him. Instead they knelt down before him. Genesis 42:6, So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. Joseph says to his brothers in Genesis 45:5, And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 

Be it the PM or President of a nation, chief minister or leader, rich or poor, it is all the Lord’s plan. It was not Joseph’s doing that he reached Egypt, the Lord had brought him there. Joseph was hated by his brothers. He was put in an empty well and later sold as slave. He had no friends or relatives. He was all alone in the prison without any fault. Those who should have thought about him did not remember him. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him he says to her, Genesis 39, 8-10, But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 

When Joseph reached the house of Potiphar he was a young boy, but he did not sin or fall into temptations. He selected the prison instead of sinning and gaining worldly pleasures. The result was that he was blessed by the Lord for his steadfast faith. The Lord brought him up out of the prison and made him the whole in charge.

Let me share a story. In the early days, birds did not fly. They used to crawl or slither. Seeing their pitiable condition, the ever compassionate Lord made something sprout out from their two sides according to their size and weight. The birds were scared. they pleaded with God to take them away. But the Lord commanded, ‘Bear it’. Suddenly, when the birds started to flap their sides, they rose into the air. What at first seemed fearful weights, were actually gift of wings to lift them up and help them rise high into the sky. They soon realized this.

This is just a mere story but the lesson it gives is valuable. The huge ships on the seas and oceans can cross large waves and storms. The Lord does not give us anything that we cannot handle. If He gives us trials and tribulations it to test us and purify us and makes us shine like gold.

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